The Summer of Delta: Part 2

Delta 767-400 in Atlanta.My internship at Delta Air Lines this summer has been quite the adventurous one.  Besides a very busy work schedule, I have already touched the east and west coasts, mainland Europe including Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as many interior states.  My trip to Brussels was quite the ever-changing one as I had to take the train to Amsterdam and catch a Boeing 777 ride home to the United States.  Keeping up with the rest of the aviation geeks here, being able to spot some gorgeous airline heavy metal is a regular occurrence at the world’s busiest airport.  The cell phone lot at ATL gives you the opportunity to take some great pictures, like the one above of a company Boeing 767-400, when we are using a west departure operation. Working at an airline is NEVER a boring job!

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

 

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Delta is a very dynamic place to be right now, especially since we seem to be the airline with the target on our backs.  Massive profits in recent times have set Delta apart from the rest of the industry, showing that massive growth and acquisition strategies have seemed to play out in the company’s favor. One of the biggest happenings at the company since I have been here was the recent opening of the Delta Flight Museum at the airline’s Atlanta General Offices location.  The event was well-covered on social media and news sites as well, so check it out for more information on how to see this great attraction.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

The internship has really opened my eyes to how complex an airline is.  Thousands of people are needed to get a flight off the ground, not just the six to twelve crewmembers that are in each airplane getting the passenger from point A to point B.  The typical view of an airline is one that comes from what folks see at an airport but it is really much, much more in depth.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Departments like mine (Network Planning) touch each flight at some point and build a schedule that has integrity and will be profitable, Revenue Mangement, aka ticket pricing, prices many levels of tickets with limitations depending on what days you might be traveling or how far in advance you might be purchasing your fare, Operations Control handles each flight enroute and solves any problems that might arise, and Finance provides the money needed to get each flight off the ground by financing airplanes and projects as well as daily operations.  The picture to the right shows my ride back to the US from Amsterdam, one of our Boeing 777s.  Partnerships like our one with KLM in AMS make our international operations much easier by sharing gates and ground equipment plus personnel. Hundreds of other specific departments and sectors are needed as well, really showing the complexity of the world’s greatest mode of transportation: Flight.

 

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators.

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators, including this Boeing 767.

Not only am I a business major, I also have my FAA Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and keep current in both multi-engine and single-engine airplanes.  One perk of being at Delta has been access to the full-motion flight simulators that our pilots use to train on their specific aircraft type.  We have at least one simulator or more in-house for every type that we fly except the Boeing 717 (Boeing owns those simulators).  I have been fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR sims as well as the Airbus A330.  I hope to fly the other types, stay tuned for more pictures!

I am excited to see where else my non-revenue travels will take me this summer and I will be sure to share more pictures and stories as they happen!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

Life Update…Prepare Yourself!

I admit, it’s been way too long since I’ve last updated you guys! So prepare yourself, because not even I expected this much to happen to me since August. Let’s just say that I have been extremely blessed. I am so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities that I have been given. It’s such a great feeling to reflect on all of the goals that I have set for myself since the start of my college career and to see them come to life. Don’t get me wrong, my junior year of college has also been the toughest for me. I’ve definitely had my fair share of struggles, but have managed to get through them shiny side up with the support of my family, hard work, and my strong faith in God.

Sigma Sigma SigmaSo here is a quick summary of everything that you’ve missed. Last semester I unexpectedly took on the role of president of my sorority in order to fill the position of a sister who took an internship. It also happened to be the same semester that I was taking my toughest classes. I somehow managed to pull through while still maintaining a 3.9 GPA. It was a very stressful time, but I learned so much being the leader of my sorority and wouldn’t change it for anything. My best advice to get through times like these: don’t be afraid to take on a challenge, even if it looks impossible. During times like these, you will surprise yourself at your potential and what you are really capable of accomplishing. I know that this was the case for me. I really learned the meaning of being a leader and also learned how important it is to push aside any prideful thoughts and ask for help when I really needed it.

DISSpeedweeks in February was definitely one of the highlights this year. Because I interned with NASCAR last summer, the department I worked with was awesome enough to get me passes to every race. I made it to as many races as I could, despite all of the assignments and tests that were thrown on me. I went to the Sprint Unlimited and NASCAR Home Tracks promoters hospitality event, the Camping World Truck Series race, Nationwide race, Daytona 500, Battle at the Beach, and saw the K&N East Series race at New Smyrna Speedway. You could say I was in heaven.

NASCAR Fans Pit Road

Boeing Scholarship Recipients

At the end of February, I got to take the trip of a lifetime!! This year I was selected as one of the Boeing scholarship recipients. Boeing invited all of the scholarship recipients from the Prescott and Daytona campuses to come tour the Boeing factory in Seattle, all expenses paid for. This was the first time that Boeing has ever done anything like this, so it was truly and honor to be selected to go on this trip. It was absolutely incredible walking through the factory where Boeing manufactures all of their planes, and then to walk on the flightline where these planes are delivered to the customers. We also were able to walk through a brand new 787 and 777! Can it get any better than that??

One of my goals for this year was to get involved in more engineering projects and focus more on my academic involvement because I already have a lot of experience with the social organizations I am involved in. I am proud to say that I have been initiated into Tau Beta Pi (an engineering honor society), Order of Omega (an honor society for Greek organizations), and I am currently working on a project that involves the design of a jet engine test cell.  Last semester I was involved in Formula SAE as a Special Topics credit. Special Topics is such a great way to get hands-on project experience while also receiving credit hours towards your degree program. I was a part of the engine team and assisted in the selection of new engine and the preliminary design report.

Space Needle

Elaine and I I’m happy to say that I have continued my work at Larsen Motorsports and am officially traveling to every IHRA Nitro Jam race with the team for the 2014 season! How lucky can a girl get?! I have taken on a marketing position with Embry-Riddle in order to market the university in conjunction with Larsen Motorsports. As a result, I get to work every event with the team in the all new Jet Technology Center presented by Embry-Riddle. This is an interactive fan experience at the race track that will take fans through the engineering, human factors, fabrication, and art work behind every jet dragster. Fans will have the opportunity to see future Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters built in front of their own eyes.

Houston RodeoOver Spring Break I went home to Houston for part of the week to catch up with the family. It was definitely a much needed trip and nothing ever beats going back to Texas. Some of the highlights included Whataburger (of course), Houston Rodeo (always a tradition), amazing Mexican food, family time, a new cowboy hat, and home-cooked meals!

 

 

Rodeo with family

Selfie with Roxy Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERAU Jet DragsterAt the end of the week, I traveled to Tucson, Arizona for the first race of season with the Larsen Motorsports (LMS) teams! This year the LMS teams doubled in size. The team consists of 4 female jet dragster drivers who come from a variety of backgrounds but all have a passion for racing. Elaine Larsen, co-owner of Larsen Motorsports drivers the Miller Welding jet dragster. Marisha Falk, a double Embry-Riddle alumnae, drives the Embry-Riddle jet dragster. Kat Moller, one of the newest LMS drivers, drives the Matrix Systems jet dragster. And lastly, Dawn Perdue, the 2nd newest driver, drives the Sport Aviation jet dragster. Last weekend I headed back to Texas for the second race of the season in San Antonio! I’ll update you guys later about life on the road with the Larsen Motorsports teams. I have so much to tell you about our first two races and I’ll even include my race recaps.

At the trackLastly, I am excited to announce the launching of my new website!! It was designed by Star Computer Services, a business that my parents own. I guess having your mom design websites for a living has its perks. (: Check it out! I would love your support! www.paigesanchez.com

Be on the lookout for race updates next week!

Saying Good-bye to Seattle – for now

Last week and a half in Washington State! Next Thursday is my last day here at Boeing. It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m very excited to get back to my life at Riddle in Florida, but I will definitely miss all the great people I have met this summer. Although I must admit that these past 13 weeks have gone by painfully slow at times, I really did enjoy myself here and I’m forever grateful at all of the opportunities I’ve been given this summer.

Enough with the cheesiness, let’s get to the fun stuff! July seems to be one of the busiest months in Seattle. There are a lot of events going on in the area every single weekend! Nathalie, another ERAU student, and I decided to take a trip to DragonFest—a chinese food festival in the heart of Seattle’s international district. Lots of great food at really great prices! We even got roses from a Buddhist monk booth!

DragonFest!

It was a very nice touch :-)

As part of the Propulsion Systems Division’s internship program, they hold an annual intern competition. This year: build a glider out of balsa wood. Very EGR-101, might I add…if you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to one of my first blogs here where I talk about my freshman-year glider for the class (wow I’m old!). Needless to say…this time around, things didn’t go as we planned. It took a very long time to carve out the thing! And to perfect it? Yep, lots of blisters and cuts ensued…My team and I ended up getting 4th place…which isn’t too shabby I suppose.

Anyways, remember how I said ERAU alumni stick together? Well I keep getting proved right! Jose, who is a shipside support manager for the 787 Dreamliner, has welcomed us all with open hands! He gave us a tour of the Dreamliner assembly line (we even got to see the first -9!) Thanks to him, I even got to job shadow a Dreamliner liaison engineer one day. I had a lot of fun.

The weekend after that, my dad came to visit. He is a huge aviation fanatic (although he is not in the industry). Sadly, he was only here for a few hours, but we got to go to the Flying Heritage collection here in Everett, where they have military airplanes and tanks on display. We even got to see a V-2 rocket!

P-51 Mustang from the Flying Heritage Collection

Alas, but the weekend wasn’t over! The rest of the weekend, I spent it actually exploring Seattle. We visited the space needle, the EMP museum, the science center, the museum of flight at Boeing Field and the aquarium. And that’s not even a shadow of what the city has to offer!

Dalek (from Doctor Who) at the EMP museum

Blue Angels!

The last flying DC-2 in the world

Pike’s Place Market – the infamous wall of gum

In just 10 days, though, I will be making my way back to Florida. I’m really excited about all the changes coming to Riddle! I heard the new observatory went up on the College of Arts and Sciences, and that Daytona Beach has a new roller coaster! It always amazes me how many things can change in a span of just a few months.

Another really neat thing going on is that campus has gone tobacco-free, effective Aug. 1 2013. I think it’s a really great thing, and very progressive of ERAU to be doing that. A lot of big-name companies out there like Boeing are doing the same thing! Boeing has been a tobacco-free workplace for some time now, and from what my coworkers tell me, it makes a huge difference not only in health, but as a courtesy to others and overall employee well-being. It will be really nice to be able to walk around and not have to gasp a cloud of second-hand smoke while walking to the library. The University will be offering workshops for those students who want to quit smoking as well. Way to go ERAU!

Bye for now Seattle!

The Real World

I board my flight to San Francisco. Just a couple more days until Washington State!
I decided to spend a few days with my family since I won’t be seeing them all summer. My days are spent shopping for business clothes and catching up with everyone. That same Sunday, I say goodbye to my family and dog Bentley, and leave on an 11-hour road trip with my dad on my little two-seater Smart Car (if you haven’t seen them…well they’re smaller than a Fiat!).

Me and Bentley

Within just a couple of hours, I’m amazed at how quickly the scenery changes as you drive north. This is definitely nothing like Florida! Mountains everywhere, the grass goes from a dry mustard color to the evergreen landscape the Northwest is known for. We trek what’s left of California, and venture into Oregon, where we stop for the night in a small town. Bright and early next morning, we make the final stretch to Washington State!

We’re not in Florida anymore!

At this point, I’m getting nervous. I’ve never really been out by myself. Even at ERAU, I know I always have people there for me, whether it’s friends or faculty. But now I’m out in the real world.

Home of the 777, 747, 787 and the Dreamlifter

But at last, we make it to Everett, home of the 777s, 747s and 787s. My dad and I decided to take a little tour of the Boeing factory. I wish I had pictures…but Boeing is very strict on their no photography policy. After all, wouldn’t want Airbus stealing the designs! ;) Anywho, we made our way into the Fantasy of Flight center, where the tours begin. We then saw a short video on the history of The Boeing Company, and we were escorted into the factory. From the observation deck, you could see the assembly line. Apparently, Boeing is popping out one of these beauties every few days! And down at the Renton factory, 38 new 737s make their way out the hangar doors every month. The Dreamlifter is sitting on the runway, along all the other aircraft awaiting delivery. I couldn’t believe that in a few days, I would become part of this family!

Fantasy of Flight

We’re here!

That Friday, my first official day, all of the interns and new hires made their way into the Seattle facility for orientation, where we got our badges (!!) and were schooled into the ethics, cultures, and everything Boeing. We had a few tours here and there, but Monday was when the true adventure started!

That same day, I got an email from my manager giving me my reporting instructions, and information on my lead engineer. It turns out he is an ERAU graduate from the Daytona Campus! Instant connection, I tell you. It’s great to see fellow Eagles out in the industry working where you want to end up some day. Repping the blue and gold, I tell ya! But to hear about what’s been going on since…you will have to wait until next time!

Boeing here I come!

Hey everybody! Remember me? Well it’s been quite a long time since I last wrote a blog. When I first started doing this, I was just starting out at Embry-Riddle. Now I’m a senior!! Can’t believe how fast the time goes by when you’re working towards your passion in life.

Boeing here I come!

Not much has changed in my life. I’m still an Aerospace Engineering major with a concentration in astronautics. Except this summer, I’m here in Washington State at an internship with The Boeing Company!

Now, before I start saying anything about my job, I would just like to say one thing: you don’t know the power a good university like Embry-Riddle carries until you get out in the industry. You see, I didn’t get my internship through Embry-Riddle (although our Career Services Office does an AMAZING job at getting students jobs/internships!!). Last year, in October, I went to a Hispanics in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) conference in Orlando called HENAAC. For those of you who have previously read my blog…yes it was at Disney. Anywho, this is a huge conference where big named companies go and celebrate diversity in the field. And by big names, I mean people like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Chevron. Did I mention this isn’t an aviation conference? Yeah, great shot for us aviation geeks at getting a job ;)

On the first day of the conference, the main sponsors held hospitality suites with food (lots of it!) and recruiters and managers (hiring people!). I was one of the first ones lined up to go talk to a recruiter I had met earlier. I handed him my my resume, he looked it over, and referred me to a manager that had literally just walked in. Mind you I was standing next to students from other really good Universities like MIT, GTech, Purdue. However, when that manager saw the ERAU name on my resume, he just looked at me and said “OH! Embry-Riddle! Very good school!” I was surprised, honestly! Our University has a huge name and a very good reputation in the industry. I found out Boeing hires hundreds of ERAU students every year as interns (don’t quote me exactly on that number). To put that into perspective, here in Washington/Puget Sound area, there are around 1,040 interns total this summer. And my lead engineer is a Riddle grad too! We do stake our claim here!
Anyways, that same night of the hospitality suite, the manager called me back (mind you it was like 10 pm…). He asked me to come back to the suite. I was so nervous! What was he going to tell me? Good job, but you’re just not what we’re looking for? Nope! He wanted me to set up an interview!

So a few days later, on a Saturday, I waltzed into the career fair with an interview already set up. I had such mixed feelings about it. It was a combination of anxiety, excitement, nervousness…well everything. And when I get anxious, I tend to talk a lot. Needless to say this carried on in the interview…I felt like I was talking way too much and that I was rambling on! I was so scared at the end of the interview that I had just bored them to death. I used every tip that Career Services had provided for me, but I just wasn’t sure how well I did!
Then, the wait began. On October 26th (yes I remember the date!), I opened my email. “Boeing Global Staffing”. Huh? I opened it. My phone began to ring. Should I wait and see the email? Who could be calling me? I answered the phone. “Hello, is this Adriana?” “Uh…yes…who is this?” “Hi, this is Cynthia calling from Boeing. Have you checked your email today? We would like you extend to you an offer for an internship for the Summer 2013. You have to reply within 48 hours on your decision. The instructions are in your email.” “UH! YES! I’ll do that right away! Thank you!”
Needless to say, I accepted right after I hung up. That was 7 months ago, exactly. Today, I’m sitting here on May 26 in my apartment. I started about a week ago (May 17th). But I think that’s a story for next time…

The Boeing Company, Washington state

 

The Rungs of an RVR Ladder.

POSITION: Women in Aviation Conference in Nashville, TN

Well, I have now returned to school from an on-the-whim Spring Break trip back home to San Diego! As most of you know, I was fortunate to have a 10 day Spring Break and be able to attend the Women in Aviation Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee! Wow. I can’t even begin to describe how awesome of an experience it was. I was in aviator heaven. From Boeing to Gulfstream to Virgin Air to XOJet to AOPA to Walmart Aviation to Delta to United to FedEx to UPS to name a few.. I guess you could say I was a little overwhelmed. Meeting pilots and company representatives from all over the world was nothing more than humbling. Honestly, I never truly realized how much there is to aviation until I attended this conference.

Top Left: Boeing. Bottom Left: Gulfstream. Top Right: FedEx. Bottom Right: WAI Main Booth.

From banquets, to FedEx chocolates, to having lunch with the Women in Aviation Chapter from Ghana, Africa, to Women in Corporate Aviation and Setting Your Stage for Success meetings, to just spending time with the girls in the Women in Aviation Chapter here at ERAU, this was an experience that I will take with me for a life time. Walking into the main Exhibit Hall at the Opryland Resort Convention Center, there was this overwhelming feeling I had- like I was a part of a family. Ok, ok, maybe that sounds weird, but there’s just this sudden connection you seem to have when you know everyone that possesses the same interests are all in the same room as you. I met some incredible and inspirational women and left with stories that I will take with me throughout the aviation world for many years to come. There’s this incredible ladder called aviation and I’m loving every moment in climbing it.

Embry-Riddle’s Booth at the Women in Aviation Conference

Spring Break back home in San Diego, CA

I got to spend a great deal of time with family and catching up with my beloved city. Not to mention- real Mexican food! I miss home, but it was definitely fun running around being a tourist in my own town for the week I was back. Now it’s time to finish out these last 4 weeks strong!

While being at the Women in Aviation Conference, a quote that I read on the plane ride home from BNA back to SAN struck me: “It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t” – Stephen Kellogg

I immediately thought, ‘Wow. I don’t think I could have read that quote at a better time.’ Whether it’s through a job or getting a degree, we’re all climbing a ladder, but only some of us are climbing the ones we truly want to climb. Some of us climb ladders because others expect us to or it is the one that has simply presented itself in front of us. Whether it’s parents, friends, or society who tells you what ladder to climb- I want to know: are you climbing the ladder for yourself, or others? Let’s take a detour; in aviation terms, RVR is a means of visibility (Runway Visual Range). It is the distance which the pilot of an aircraft on the center line of the runway can see the runway markings so the plane can be landed in safe visibility. Some of us can see a reward at the top of our ladders so we quickly and eagerly climb the rungs to get the trophy; the job title, the degree. Yet we don’t see that starting a journey in and of itself is a reward we have already proclaimed. It’s not about the ultimate satisfaction at the end, it’s the juiciness inside the middle of the sandwich. RVR is great, don’t get me wrong, and you may be able to see the end of a certain ladder, but that doesn’t mean it’s yours. Your ladder may be scary, tall, frightening with minimal visibility as to what is at the top. Let that fear be your reassurance, because once you take that first step, you will open up a world of reward that you could have never imagined and I can guarantee you that nothing is more exciting than following not your parents, not your friends, not society’s ladder laid out for you, but rather your own. Trust me. It’s much taller.

To the starting end of the semester and my first year in college -

Blue Skies.